Queen Pheromones and Colony Regulation for Honey Bee.

Queen Pheromones and Colony Regulation for Honey Bee.

Queen Pheromones and Colony Regulation: We’ve been hearing a great deal concerning the New World Order of late. The term has several meanings, reckoning on what a part of the world is mentioned. whether or not countries themselves, the United Nations, or the U. S. take into account taking action once things get out of management, the goal is usually similar, to ascertain order.

The perennial queries area unit what kind is required and the way is it to be preserved. After all, even chaos (most dictionaries outline this as “disorder”) mathematicians currently tell the USA, has an order.

How many have checked out the random movement of honey bees in an exceedingly colony and seen solely chaos? it’s superb that out of what initially looks seems to be random movement by thousands of individual insects, extraordinary structure patterns emerge. This befuddled the people, the United Nations agency little doubt gave the credit to an array of gods.

Researchers, victimization the tools of recent science, however, area unit perpetually finding new clues concerning however the order is established in an exceedingly honey bee colony. That the supply of a lot of-of it’s from the queen is not any surprise, however the main points area unit usually on the far side our expertise.

It is currently definite that sure chemicals referred to as pheromones, regulate several of the activities of social insect societies. In “The Essence of Royalty: Honey Bee Queen secretion,” (American Scientist: Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 374-385, July-August 1992), M. Winston and K. Slessor state that some thirty-six pheromones are known in honey bees.


Those of the queen, referred to as primer pheromones, have long been thought to manage the colony. Studies counsel they suppress queen cell construction by the colony and conjointly block ovarian development in employee bees. there’s conjointly proof queen pheromones attract employees (and drones) and stimulate search.

Early analysis during this field initial known 2 chemical compounds, 9-keto-2- decanoic acid (9ODA) and 9-hydroxy-2-decanoic acid (9HDA), found within the articulator glands of queens as potential candidates for queen secretion. These, notably the latter, were usually brought up as a “queen substance.” though these compounds were active, the authors state that once synthesized, they failed to absolutely duplicate the results of submaxillary salivary gland extract.

It remained to get that adding 3 additional chemicals (two of utterly totally different structure) created a pheromonal complicated that was adore articulator secretory organ extract. All the elements area unit necessary for this royal essence to work; removing anyone reduces activity by up to fifty %. The part mix can vary with age. Virgin queens have much none of those pheromones, solely secreting the complete array once being mated and birthing eggs. many alternative glands secrete chemicals that play a task in queen pheromonal communication.

A final part of the pheromonal puzzle involved, however, the chemicals reached all employees within the colony. The bees within the royal cortege close the queen transfer the pheromones from her to themselves and thence to their sisters. 2 forms of bees were known by the authors: lickers and antennators.

The previous disperse most of the pheromone; why their area unit 2 sorts of employees within the cortege may be a mystery. The comb wax conjointly picks up some secretion that is later transferred to alternative employees. The question of however the bees discover the pheromones remains unresolved.


Almost all the queen secretion made finishes up internalized each within the queen’s and workers’ bodies. The route is through either the mouth or the skin (cuticle). This internalization is also one reason the queen produces such a lot of secretion. it’s instructed there can be a push-pull in worker-queen conflict. so as to flee the queen’s chemical management, employees quickly try and absorb and break down (catabolize) the control chemicals.

At a similar time, the queen makes an attempt to manufacture additional pheromones to extend her dominance. this is often analogous with several families and societies that show a mix of cooperation and conflict, with some objectives in common, however people having their own goals in addition.

Much of the dynamics in queen-worker conflict happen in swarming. only a shy quantity of pheromones area unit gift can employees begin to rear queens. Given a queen that’s perpetually manufacturing these dominant chemicals, the chance exists for a discount in secretion solely as colonies expand their population. in step with the authors, a time is reached wherever there merely isn’t enough secretion to travel around, notably if additional and additional is being internalized by bigger numbers of worker bees.

The application of queen pheromones to manage to swarm is represented any by Y. Lensky and P. Cassier in “Control of Swarming by queen Pheromones,” BeeScience, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 7-11, March 1992. The author’s distinction emergency or supersession cells being created within the nest’s center (source of queen pheromones lost or terribly reduced) with swarm cells being designed on the perimeters (queen pheromones not reaching the periphery).


They determined a two-stage method within the latter process: (1) queen cups area unit created wherever a queen will lay Associate in Nursing egg and (2) the cup with its egg is then reworked into a queen cell. The authors ensure that because the employee population grows and nest congestion develops, the tendency to swarm will increase.

This is often very true once the queen’s movement is restricted. they are going one step any, however, by the terminal that another secretion is acting at the side of chemicals from the submandibular gland to suppress queen rearing. this is often AN oily substance emitted from the queen’s feet that she leaves on the comb.

The paper describes the structure of the secretory organ that produces the queen’s footprint substance.   Although unable heretofore to forestall swarming exploitation secretion application, the authors have developed a procedure calculated to decrease it. They need to reduce the assembly of recent queens and so reduce swarming by (1) annual requeening, (2) increasing the degree of hives by adding supers in excess, 3) raising seven to eight brood frames from the brood nest into the supers higher than the queen excluders, (4) preventing heating by providing further openings to assist ventilation and (5) providing continuing water within the bee yard.  

This system takes into thought most of what’s well-known regarding the pheromonal order established by queen honey bees, however one forever able to be undermined by the employees within the absence of royalty.
ROYAL PHEROMONE: QMP TRIALS IN FRANCE   Although not essentially apparent in insect population management, there’s a quiet revolution going down.

This powerful movement seeks to exchange the use of broad-spectrum pesticides with pheromones that square measure a lot of centered and, therefore, a lot of environmentally benign. This “pheromonal revolution” is that the subject of European Notebook variety twelve revealed in many journals dedicated to apiculture throughout the Continent.  


According to the Notebook, news of this was carried to Europe by Dr. Mark Winston, currently at the school of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. He barnstormed through France invited by ADAPI, INRA, and also the Méditerranean GRAPP with the message that cultivation will be heavily influenced by this flip of events.   The first secretion to be known was isolated from moths in 1959, the Notebook quotes Dr. Winston.

The subsequent year, a royal secretion was found within the queen honey bee known as nine oxo-2-decanoic acids, created by the submandibular gland. Since then over thirty pheromones are found in honey bees. Like several pheromones, the queen’s royal one has been found to possess several constituents; as a consequence, it’s known as queen articulator secretion (QMP), in step with Dr. Winston.

It conjointly has many functions, as well as keeping employee bees from building queen cells, attracting drones throughout sex, and dominant swarming.   [Editor’s note: Via e-mail, Dr. Winston says he’s almost able to characterize the utilization of pheromones in apiculture as a real revolution. Instead, he takes a lower-key approach, suggesting that this use is solely a management tool with prospects in some things.

He conjointly says there’s proof that QMP doesn’t inhibit employee ovarian development, however rather brood secretion is accountable.]
REVOLT within the BEEHIVE: GENETIC REBELLION BY employee BEES   The management of employees by the queen through royal pheromones might not be as complete as several textbooks would have the USA believe.


This is often not stunning. Any farmer is aware that exceptions square measure the rule by that honey bees and beekeepers should live. Sciences et Avenir, Number 603, May 1997, revealed in Paris carries a piece that seems to indicate this only too well. known as “Revolt within the Hive,” the article describes analysis drained Melbourne, Australia by B. Oldroyd, J.-M. Cornuet and A. Smolenski that surprises and delights.  

It appears that a rebellion is carried on by worker honey bees in some colonies within the quest to form their own genetic contribution to the species. In spite of the queen’s royal pheromonal management, the article says, polymer study confirms that employees regularly square measure giving birth eggs in colonies that have several drones. This provides credence to Dr. Winston’s doubts expressed elsewhere during this issue regarding the inhibition of employee ovarian development.  

To avoid detection by their sisters, these rebellious egg-layers have coated up their deeds by making certain their square measure marked with royal secretion, the article says. The authors recommend that some employees have even combined their crime by commutation royal eggs with their own! Such lawlessness, the article concludes, carries a virulent disease of its own prolongation, the assembly of drones that pass the tendency on to different colonies through queens they mate with.  

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